As a mysterious lung illness has hit young people across the nation, seemingly related to the use of vaping products, the state of Michigan on Wednesday is set to become the first state in the country to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, said the ban was a good start to address the issue of vaping, pointing out that flavored products tend to target younger demographics, the Washington Post reported.
“My number one priority is keeping our kids safe and protecting the health of the people of Michigan,” Whitmer said.
Such flavors — which include “fruit loops,” bubble gum, menthol, and mint-flavored e-cigarette products — will have to be removed from shelves in vaping stores within 30 days. The state ban lasts for six months, and can be renewed by executive action for six months after, repeating as many times as necessary. Executive department officials are seeking ways to make the ban permanent.
The ban would reportedly affect in-person sales, as well as online purchases, within the state of Michigan.
In the past couple of weeks, a mysterious lung illness has affected at least 215 young adults across 25 different states, Vox reported. The individuals are all e-cigarette users, and it’s believed that’s what’s causing their symptoms, although the exact reason why their devices may be causing them harm is not yet known.
The individuals who are affected by the strange phenomenon are reporting shortness of breath and coughing, as well as chest pain, and general difficulty breathing overall. Some have required oxygen support, including incubators and other devices to help them breathe. Most victims of the illness are in their teens or early 20s.